WASHINGTON -- Bipartisan legislation has been introduced that would overhaul the regulatory oversight of the government sponsored enterprises of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks.
H.R. 1427, the "Federal Housing Finance Reform Act of 2007," was introduced by Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) with Reps. Richard Baker (R-La.), Mel Watt (D-N.C.) and Gary Miller (R-Calif.).
"This is a very important bill which will enhance the regulatory authority in an appropriate manner, while significantly improving the contribution the GSEs will make to increasing the stock of affordable housing in the country," said House Financial Services Committee Chairman Frank.
The legislation would create a new, independent regulator with broad powers analogous to current banking regulators. It would also add an off budget and non-taxpayer financed affordable housing fund, which would dedicate hundreds of millions of dollars for the construction, maintenance and preservation of affordable housing with the first year of the fund to be dedicated to the hurricane stricken areas of the Gulf Coast.
"This bill creates the kind of tough regulatory oversight that companies this big and complex require, addresses the risks their portfolios present to taxpayers and the financial system, and improves their performance in providing affordable homeownership opportunities, especially in the two hurricane-stricken Gulf states so desperately in need of housing solutions," said Congressman Baker.
The House Financial Services Committee held two hearings on the legislation with the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises including a hearing on March 12. The full Committee discussed the bill and heard from witnesses at a hearing on March 15.